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Meet the team

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The Team



Brisa is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Though she first found yoga in Brazil in 2003, it was not until 2009, while living in Aspen, Colorado, that yoga became part of her life. Brisa graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training and from Ana Forrest's Foundation Teacher Training in Chicago. Brisa uses intuitive guidance, precise breath work, vigorous sequencing, and occasionally music to cultivate a safe, healing space for her students.



Caroline is a School Psychologist and KRI Level 1 Kundalini yoga instructor. She has long been fascinated by the mind and ways in which our thought patterns influence our daily functioning and well being. Through a regular Kundalini yoga practice she discovered that one can befriend the mind, maintain mental clarity, and live a more present and conscious existence. Caroline enjoys combining breath work, movement, mantra, and meditation in her daily practice and is delighted to share the Kundalini teachings with others.



Devon found yoga and meditation online six years ago as a first time mother. She discovered a new depth of healing from her own childhood trauma that now guides her. Devon’s playful spirit and personal story fuel her work as a Tarot Life Coach and Yoga Teacher. Devon completed her 200-hour Kunga Yoga Teacher Training through the Wilmington Yoga Center. Devon uses Chakra Theory to deepen understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection.



Ellese Nickles (DPT, RYT-200) found yoga as a compliment to her dance training. She completed teacher training at Satchidananda Ashram in 2008. Ellese completed her doctorate in physical therapy at UNC and uses expertise in neuromusculoskeletal issues to further guide her practice and teaching. Ellese teaches a vinyasa class with special attention given to alignment and functional movement patterns.




Hannah is a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based yoga teacher by way of New York City who believes that yoga should be a practice of exploring the body, mind and spirit. Her intent is to make each class a lighthearted, yet thoughtful and safe space for students to explore the practice of yoga and how it fits into their lives. Her classes are accessible to all, offering a blend of challenging vinyasa flow sequences and therapeutic modalities, while encouraging the use of props to advance the practice. Hannah is RYT-200 certified through Pure Yoga in New York and has taken and additional 300 hours of advanced therapeutic trainings with Prema Yoga Institute, both based in New York. Mentors include Kay Kay Clivio, Adam Vitolo, Dana Slamp and Yuliana Kim-Grant.



Yoga started as a workout but became a healing tool in Jacquelyn’s life. She received her 200hr Kunga Yoga Teacher certification, through a program designed to bring yoga to underserved communities, under the guidance of Kristin Cooper, Jess Bichler, and Sylvia Jabaley. As a social worker, Jacquelyn has experience teaching in setting as well as to families.



Jessica (LPCA, M.S., CRC, RYT-200) has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. She studied psychology at the University of North Carolina and was an ardent student of the international authority on Yoga for Athletes, Sage Rountree and Lies Sapp. As a mental health therapist, Jessica believes in the practice of yoga as a tool to promote both physical and mental wellness.



Josephine is a RYT-200 certified yoga teacher currently enrolled in Asheville Yoga Center's 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training. She has training in energy work, breathwork meditation, and trauma-informed teaching. She is committed to creating a trauma-sensitive, LGBTQIA-affirming, body positive container for people to explore movement, sensation, and self-soothing tools.



Katelin found yoga in college while playing Division 1 soccer, looking for something to help with chronic injuries and anxiety. She took her 200hr teacher training at Blue Point Yoga Center in 2015. She received her MS in Art and Design History from the Pratt Institute, is an avid art enthusiast, and is a fine artist trained in mosaic art, oil paint and watercolors. She also enjoys circuit training, biking, inferno pilates classes and pretty much anything that gets her moving.


Founder / Owner

Kathryn (E-RYT) is the founder of Yoga Off East. She lives in Durham with her husband, their two children and a chocolate lab Sage. Kathryn is a Duke alumna (T’01) where she played on the tennis team and studied Cultural Anthropology. As a competitive athlete, and later a Division I tennis coach, Kathryn found that her on-court results improved as she learned how to quiet critical mind and stay grounded in her body. In addition to weekly classes at Yoga Off East, Kathy works privately with athletes around town.



Lara came to yoga with a tired body and an anxious mind and found both renewed on the mat. Lara began her yoga practice at O2 Yoga in Massachusetts, and completed her 200-hour teacher training through Carolina Yoga Company. She has also completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through Duke Integrative Medicine. Off the mat, Lara brings her love of joyful, expressive movement into teaching BollyX, a Bollywood-inspired, cardio-dance class.



Laura (RYT 200, MSW) graduated from Campbell University in 2007 with a Bachelors of Social Work, and from UNC Chapel Hill in 2010 with a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in child and adolescent mental health. She provides clinical services and independent living skills to young adults who are aging out of foster care or experiencing homelessness. Laura graduated from the 200-hour YTT at Republic of Yoga in 2017. She lives with her husband Tim, daughter Blythe, and two awesomely weird cats, Soleri and Frank.



Lauren (RYT 200) is a yoga teacher and Reiki energy healer who relocated from California to North Carolina in 2017. She was first introduced to yoga in 2012 and began to find herself consistently attending classes in 2015 after dealing with a running injury. While residing in California, Lauren completed her RYT 200 hour certification with Janet Stone and her Reiki Level I & II certification with Jesalyn Eatchel. Lauren is also a certified Kids Yoga Teacher through Little Guru Kids Yoga and an OfficeYogaTM certified instructor. Always having deep gratitude for showing up on the mat; for the only breath we are truly promised, is the one that we have while breathing in this moment, right here, right now.



Linda started practicing at a corporate gym in New York two decades ago. Initially considering this a stretching class, she marveled at the way her body and mind felt stronger and clearer. She received her 200-hour certification from Franklin Street Yoga Center in 2010. Linda, her husband Ben, and their three children live in Durham. In addition to being a student and a teacher of yoga, she is a scrum master, sports fanatic, and voracious foodie.



Margaret Huntington Popin, was born and raised in Orange County, Ca. Music, Jungian psychology, mysticism, living authentically, and her ancestry inspire her work as a spiritual supporter and yoga teacher. She has earned additional certification in trauma sensitive yoga, therapeutic yoga, yin yoga, and is currently enrolled in Blue Lotus’ advanced training program in Raleigh. As an extension of her yoga, Margaret is also a birth and death doula, as well as the proud mother of her two children, Beatrice and Hugo.


Melissa Sheri

With a background in dance and music, Melissa integrates flow and ease into her practice.
Her classes invite a kind and playful approach to movement by providing creative sequencing in a warm, inclusive environment for all levels. While not on the mat, Melissa can be found traveling, spending time in nature, and writing songs.



Melissa love for yoga began in a high school gym class. Melissa graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Health and Wellness Studies before moving to Durham for the promise of warm weather and sunshine. She pursued a 200-hr yoga teacher training program with The Mandala Yoga School in 2017. Off the mat, Melissa does research on neuromuscular diseases at Duke University Medical Center. Off the mat, you can find her with friends, changing her hair color or posing for the ‘gram.



Mia (RYT 200) is a certified yoga instructor and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She has been practicing yoga since she was just 13 years old. What began as a weekly “date” with her mom, over time, transformed into a passion she feels honored to be able to share. A West Coast native, Mia received her BA in Musical Theater from UCLA. Yoga for her is a practice of celebrating the body, and expressing gratitude. Mia’s background in dance and the performing arts inspires both her teaching and personal practice. She strives to fill each class with a sense of joy and creativity.



PopUp Workout x YOE

Shannon is a self-employed physical therapist and works with clients from athletes to weekend warriors with their chronic and acute injuries. Although a PT by day, teaching is still an integral part of Shannon's life. She recently moved from Kansas City to Durham with her husband who is attending Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.



Tammy (E-RYT) has been active most of her life, as a gymnast and then, a competitive powerlifter. About fifteen years ago, the stress of athletic injuries, her corporate accounting career in the DC area, and the emotional demands of having a child with a complex genetic disorder drew her to yoga. Tammy has studied with Johnny Gillespie, Jamie Elmer, and Doug Keller, all of whom emphasize functional fitness and anatomy. She is also trained in yoga for anxiety and depression. In recent years, Tammy was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and is grateful for her yoga practice which teaches her that each day is an opportunity for a fresh start.


Studio Experience